20 years ago Emmitt Smith  broke the rushing record
Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith celebrates breaking the all-time career rushing record in a game against the Seattle Seahawks in Irving, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 27. 2002. Smith broke the NFL's career rushing record with an 11-yard run in the fourth quarter. The run gave the 33-year-old Smith 16,728 career yards, passing Walter Payton's mark of 16,726 yards. (AP Photo/Tim Sharp)

20 years ago today I was at Texas Stadium and among 64,000 plus that witnessed history.

Emmitt Smith broke Walter Payton’s record to become the NFL’s all-time rushing leader.

I remember it like yesterday. The record-breaking run came in the fourth quarter. I thought he was going to break it for a touchdown but he picked up 11 yards to break the record.

 It was an incredible celebration in the stands. The ovation lasted for several minutes and they unveiled a banner and released a bunch of balloons.

October 27, 2002. Section 13, row 34, seat 109 (a $50 ticket) and I still have the ticket stubs. I framed the front page of the Dallas Morning News. I framed the program. Twenty years later, they still hang on the wall in my memorabilia room. Along with the commemorative football that I bought.

It was the Dallas Cowboys hosting the Seattle Seahawks. My wife is from Seattle. We had the tickets for months because her parents were coming to visit and we were going to the game.

As it got closer, we were hoping Emmitt would break the record while we were at Texas Stadium.

After the game, I will never forget my father in law Bob – Awesome Bob – as everyone called him, saying how great the day was because we witnessed history and Seattle won, 17-14. I was not happy with another Cowboys loss and he razzed me about it the entire way home because he had won the bet.

Bob loved sports. He was a P1 listener to KJR, a legendary sports talk station in Seattle. I had to keep up with Seattle sports to be part of the family. He passed in 2004.

With my high school football broadcast schedule, we would always visit Joanna’s family in the summer. I went to many baseball games with Bob, but the only NFL game I ever went to with Awesome Bob was the day Emmitt broke the record that will never be broken. That makes the memory of that incredible day more special for me.

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